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Senate Adopts Senator Spilka’s “Gift of Life’” Amendment

May 27, 2011

Yesterday, the Senate adopted to its budget Senator Karen Spilka’s (D-Ashland) amendment “Gift of Life,” which creates an income tax deduction for citizens of Massachusetts who donate an organ, while living, to another human being.

“Gift of Life” will allow living organ donors a state income tax deduction of up to $10,000 in related expenses that include travel expenses, lodging expenses, and lost wages that are incurred by the donor and related to his or her organ donation that are not reimbursed in any way.

“It is vital to ensure that living donors do not incur financial loss for their altruistic organ donation,” stated Senator Spilka. “This legislation will raise awareness for living organ donations, help those in need of a transplant to receive an organ in a shorter period of time, and ultimately save lives every year. I want to thank my constituents, Krystine and Steven Orr of Framingham, who brought this issue to my attention in 2007, when Krystine was in need of a kidney donation, and who have helped me bring this legislation to life.”

This legislation will ultimately save the state money by lowering the overall health care cost associated with those awaiting transplants, including lengthy stays in hospitals, and eliminating dialysis, which can cost $50,000 a year per person. Massachusetts will join 19 other states that have already passed legislation related to tax deductions for living organ donation, and currently 22 other states are considering this legislation. “Gift of Life” will ensure that all organ living donors in Massachusetts will receive a much needed economic relief in their time of need and ensure that donors will neither profit nor incur financial loss from their donation.

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